Wikileaks’ Assange Gets Another Shot at Extradition Appeal

Julian Assange (AP Photo/Max Nash, File)

(Bloomberg News/TNS) — The extradition of Julian Assange was delayed again after London judges gave the Wikileaks founder another chance to bring an appeal.

After more than a decade of legal wrangling, British judges gave Assange some hope of a reprieve. It means the Wikileaks founder, who has been in prison or holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, will not be put on a plane in the short term.

Two London judges ruled Monday that Assange could bring a full-blown appeal after his lawyers successfully argued that U.S. guarantees over his First Amendment rights didn’t go far enough. If the assurances had been deemed sufficient, Assange could have been extradited within days. 

The U.S. charged Assange with helping U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning in obtaining around 750,000 classified or sensitive documents, one of the largest leaks of state secrets in U.S. history. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 175 years in prison if he is found guilty on all counts, although sentences for federal crimes are typically less than that. 

President Joe Biden told reporters last month that the government was considering a request by the Australian government, Assange’s home country, to drop the case. U.S. officials are also said to be considering a plea deal, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s lawyer, said at a press conference last week that his legal team are working closely with the Australian government to try and find a resolution to the case. Assange has support from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who said he has already paid a significant price and should be allowed back to Australia.

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